Although the warmer months are upon us here in Vermont, the early, sun-filled (but somewhat cool) mornings make me crave a comforting, nutritious breakfast. And with summer berries at their peak, all I want to do is enjoy them first thing in the morning over a bowl of warm instant pot oats.
That was the inspiration for this quick steel-cut oatmeal recipe. If you have been following me for a while, you probably know I am a huge fan of steel cut oats for breakfast. It is also my favorite type amongst all types of oats. I have already shared my three other favorite ways of cooking it: Overnight Steel Cut Oats, Savory Oatmeal with Steel Cut Oats, and Steel Cut Oats in Slow Cooker.
In today’s Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, we are using my new favorite kitchen toy, my Instant Pot (aka pressure cooker). The oats make the perfect bed for those wonderful summer berries and a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup. And when I learned it is possible to make steel cut oats in my Instant Pot, I was instantly (no pun intended) hooked!
The best part is you can make this quick-cooking steel cut oats recipe any time of year and top it with whatever fruit is in season.
The ingredient list for cooking steel cut oats in an instant pot is a short one and you probably have everything in your pantry:
- Steel Cut Oats: Also knowns as Irish Oats, steel cut oats are heartier than any other oats. If you are new to using them in your cooking, be sure to check out my post on rolled oats vs. steel cut oats to learn more about how they are different than old-fashioned oats.
- Coconut Oil: I used coconut oil to toast the oats, but any other mild-flavored oil, like avocado oil, would also work. If you feel like splurging, you can even use butter.
- Liquid: I used water as the cooking liquid, but you can also use almond milk or any other plant-based milk you have on hand.
- Salt: A pinch of salt will enhance all the flavors, but it is optional.
- Vanilla extract: It is optional but you can add a splash of it for vanilla flavor.
- Toppings: I kept it simple and used fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup as a topping. However, you can also top it off with your favorite nut butter, nuts, spices (like ground cinnamon and nutmeg), or even a spoonful of vanilla yogurt. Alternatively, you can go the savory route and add toppings like roasted shiitake mushrooms or leftover asparagus and mushroom sautee if you have some on hand.
How to make steel cut oats in a pressure cooker?
The process of making these healthy pressure cooker steel cut oats is 100% foolproof! The pressure cooker steel cut oats instructions have 3 parts:
First, preheat your pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) by selecting “Saute.” Add in the coconut oil (if using) and once fully melted, add in the steel cut oats and saute for 30 seconds, while constantly stirring, until they are fully coated with the oil.
Here I have to mention the addition of coconut oil is optional. I like it because (1) a tablespoon of oil nicely coats the bottom of the pot and prevents it from sticking and (2) it gives the oatmeal a sweet coconut-y flavor. However, if you are trying to avoid using oil, you can totally skip this step and simply place everything in the pot.
Second, stir in the water, a pinch of salt, and select “Cancel.” Secure the lid and turn your valve to “Seal.” Select “Manual” and pressure-cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It should take about 5-7 minutes to come to full pressure.
Finally, once the cooking is complete, let the pressure cooker naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release until there is no more steam. Remove the lid carefully, as it may be hot, and give it a stir. Portion into large bowls, top with desired toppings, and enjoy!
How long to cook steel cut oats in a pressure cooker?
Pressure cooker steel cut oats time varies depending on the appliance you use. In our case today, we are using an Instant Pot (affiliate link). I found 10 minutes to be the appropriate amount of time to fully cook pressure cooker oatmeal so that it still retains some of its texture and chew.
However, if you want it to be creamier and less chewy, you can cook it up to 13 minutes.
What is the liquid to steel cut oats ratio?
I found the ratio of 1 ½ cups steel cut oats to 4 cups liquid is the perfect ratio to make steel cut oats that are both tender and moist without being gummy. For this recipe, I used water with a dash of salt to bring out the natural sweetness of the oatmeal in an Instant Pot.
Are steel cut oats gluten free?
Yes, all oats, whether steel cut, old fashioned (or rolled), or quick-cooking, are inherently gluten-free. However, many manufacturers process oats in a facility with wheat products, so there is a chance of cross-contamination. If you have a gluten sensitivity, make sure to purchase steel cuts oats that are certified gluten-free.
Why use an Instant pot for cooking steel cut oats? (Benefits of cooking steel cut oats in a pressure cooker)
For the longest time, I made steel cut oats using my two favorite cooking methods; In my slow cooker and overnight (a hands-off alternative to cooking it on the stove top), but then I was introduced to the Instant Pot. I really enjoy my Instant Pot for several reasons and cooking steel cut oats in it is certainly one of them.
When you prepare Instant Pot steel cut oatmeal:
- The process is almost entirely hands-off.
- The steel cut oats cook in half the amount of time as compared to the usual stovetop method that is advertised on the packaging of most of the steel cut oats sold in the markets.
How many portions of steel cut oats does this recipe make?
This Instant Pot steel cut oats recipe will make enough for 4 large portions or 6 smaller portions. The sweet spot is 5 portions, making it the perfect recipe to prepare for a quick and healthy breakfast throughout the week.
Feel free to double the recipe to make an appropriate 10 portions for 2 people. My husband certainly appreciates this come weekday mornings!
How long do pressure cooker steel cut oats last?
This pressure cooker oatmeal will last in the fridge for 5 days as long as it is properly stored in an airtight container.
I usually make a big batch and divide it amongst glass meal prep containers (affiliate link) for a healthy grab and go breakfast on weekdays.
How to reheat pressure cooker steel cut oats?
There are two methods to reheat instant steel cut oats:
- Stovetop: Scoop a large portion of the steel cut oats into a small saucepan and add a few tablespoons of water or milk. Place over medium-low heat, cover, and cook, stirring frequently until warmed through. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water or milk, if necessary, to prevent the oatmeal from drying out.
- Microwave: Scoop a large portion of the steel cut oatmeal into a microwave-safe dish and add a few tablespoons of water or milk. Microwave on HIGH in 15-second increments, stirring in between each session until thoroughly warmed through.
Do I use the Instant pot porridge setting to cook steel cut oats?
Which setting do I use when it comes to cooking steel cut oatmeal? This was a question that I had when I first started using my pressure cooker for cooking steel cut oats. I wanted to include it in here just in case you have it too.
As I was getting ready for this post I looked in several websites and two reputable Instant Pot Cookbooks, Instant Pot Electronic Pressure Cookbook and The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook (affiliate link), and found out that they were opting for the manual setting rather than the porridge setting. Therefore, I chose to use the manual setting as well.
Other healthy oatmeal recipes you might also like
- Overnight Muesli
- Apple Oatmeal
- Baked Blackberry Oatmeal
- Healthy Oat and Raisin Cookies
- How To Make Oatmeal with Almond Milk
- Oatmeal with Dates and Nuts
- Instant Pot Quinoa Porridge
Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats Recipe (Instant Pot Method)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups steel cut oats (240 gr.)
- 4 cups water (1 liter)
- Pinch of salt optional
- Preheat the pressure cooker (I used my Instant Pot) by selecting saute. Add in the coconut oil and let it melt.
- Add in the steel cut oats and mixing constantly lightly saute until for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the water. Select cancel.
- Secure the lid and turn your valve to “seal”.
- Select manual and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. I have found that it will take 5-7 minutes to come to full pressure.
- Once cooking is complete, let it natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest.
- Remove the lid carefully and give it a stir.
- Top it off with your desired toppings.